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Report on Rootz into Food Growing project calls for further movement building

The new report reflects on the outcomes of Rootz into Food Growing collaboration, which set out to understand and reduce barriers to entry into social enterprise food growing. It calls for new spaces for BPOC growers to come together and a Black-led accredited training programme for growers.

Black Rootz. Credit: Black Rootz | Manal Massalha

Black Rootz. Credit: Black Rootz | Manal Massalha

Rootz into Food Growing (RIFG) was a collaborative project delivered in partnership by The Ubele Initiative, Black Rootz, OrganicLea, and Land In Our Names (LION). It was a programme running from November 2020 - February 2023 and funded by Farming the Future. This new report is a reflection on the outcomes of the work, sharing learnings from the process and recommendations for the future. 

The report highlights the successes which included: 

  • Key research report: Rootz into Food Growing highlighting barriers and recommending interventions
  • Multiple RiFG networking events 
  • Recruitment and paid employment for BPOC food growers
  • Signposting individuals to professional accredited training  
  • Presentation of findings at the 2022 Oxford Real Farming Conference and built relationships throughout the sector. 

Challenges includes stretched capacity: with only one part-time member tasked with a broad remit including research, policy, lobbying and events, it was difficult to cover all the areas of need.  In addition there was limited time and funding: after producing the key research report there was limited funding and project time to focus on broader movement building after its release. 

Key learnings: 

  • People value BPOC only spaces to connect and as it stands there is an unfilled gap, for a London-based, Black-led organisation of food growers and food sovereignty advocates. 
  • People are interested in developing a Black-led accredited training programme that speaks to the heritage and cultures of Black people and offers advanced skills and knowledge to upskill growers and keep them on the land. 
  • There is appetite for further action and movement building from participants. 

For full context, learnings and recommendations, download: Reflections on Rootz into Food Growing

Read the Report

The report was entirely written and edited by Zahra Dalilah with the support of the RiFG team, and as such does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Sustain. Capital Growth supported the production of this report as part of Sustain’s wider commitment to support Black and People of Colour lead organisations. In this instance, this was made possible thanks to our funders, City Bridge Foundation. 

To get in contact with the network, please contact Pauline Shakespeare, previous Project Coordinator, Rootz into Food Growing

Published Monday 4 December 2023

Capital Growth: We believe everyone should have the opportunity to grow food as part of a healthy, resilient food system and we are working with our network of growers in London to make this happen.

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